Bali is a small island province of Indonesia that has become a mecca for tourists from all over the world in recent years. Known for its serene rice paddies, beautiful beaches, and luxurious resorts, Bali offers something for everyone. Whether you are seeking spiritual enlightenment, adventure in nature, or relaxation in a villa with a private pool, Bali has it all.
In this guide, we’ll highlight the top 10 things to do while in Bali, from exploring the island’s spiritual side to hitting the beach and trying authentic Balinese cuisine. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned Bali traveler, there’s always something new to experience in this Indonesian paradise.
Explore Bali’s Spiritual Side
Bali is renowned for its spiritual side, and visiting one of the island’s many temples is a must-do activity. One of Bali’s most popular temples is Pura Tanah Lot, located on a rock formation just off the coast of Bali. The temple is especially beautiful during sunset, with the sky and sea turning a gorgeous shade of pink and orange.
Another must-visit temple is Uluwatu Temple, perched atop a cliff with sweeping views of the Indian Ocean. Uluwatu is also notable for the traditional Kecak dance performances that take place in the temple.
Attending a traditional Balinese dance performance is another way to immerse yourself in Bali’s spiritual and cultural heritage. These performances, which depict traditional Hindu legends and stories, are often held in temples or outdoor amphitheaters. Popular dance forms include the Barong Dance, which tells the story of the battle between good and evil, and the Legong Dance, which features intricate choreography and beautiful costumes.
Aside from temples and dance performances, Bali is also home to a vibrant yoga and wellness scene. Many yoga studios offer classes throughout the day, and some even offer week-long retreats with daily classes and healthy meals. Visiting a spa is also a must-do activity in Bali, with many spas offering unique treatments like flower baths and body scrubs using natural, locally-sourced ingredients.
Hit the Beach
Bali is known for its fine beaches, and no trip is complete without spending some time soaking up the sun and surfing. If you’re looking for a lively beach scene, head to Kuta Beach or Seminyak Beach, which are two of the most popular beaches on the island. Kuta Beach is famous for its happening nightlife and beach clubs, while Seminyak Beach is known for its luxury resorts and high-end restaurants. Both beaches offer excellent surfing conditions, with surf schools and board rentals readily available.
If you’re looking for a more laid-back beach experience, try visiting quieter beaches like Bingin Beach and Balangan Beach. These smaller beaches are perfect for relaxing, with fewer people and stunning views of the sea. Bingin Beach is especially popular with surfers, with some of Bali’s best waves found here.
For a truly unique beach experience, try visiting Nusa Penida Island, just off the coast of Bali. The island boasts dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear waters, with beautiful beaches like Crystal Bay and Kelingking Beach. These beaches are often less crowded than those on the main island, making them a great choice for a day trip away from the hustle and bustle of Bali’s tourist areas.
Try Authentic Balinese Cuisine
Bali is a food lover’s paradise, with a wide range of delicious dishes showcasing the island’s rich culinary heritage. Balinese cuisine is characterized by its use of local spices and fresh ingredients, resulting in bold and aromatic flavors. Here are some must-try dishes to experience the best of Balinese cuisine:
- Nasi Goreng: This is one of Bali’s most popular dishes, consisting of fried rice mixed with vegetables, egg, and often meat or seafood. It’s often served with krupuk (fish crackers) and a fried egg on top.
- Satay: Satay is a type of meat skewer that’s marinated in a mixture of spices and grilled to perfection. It can be made using chicken, beef, pork, or even seafood, and is often served with a peanut sauce.
- Babi Guling: This dish consists of roasted suckling pig flavored with a mixture of spices, including turmeric, coriander, and lemongrass. It’s often served with rice, vegetables, and crispy pork skin on top.
Other must-try Balinese dishes include bebek betutu (spiced duck), sate lilit (minced seafood or meat wrapped around a lemongrass stick), and lower (a vegetable and meat salad made with coconut, spices, and blood).
When it comes to trying Balinese cuisine, it’s worth branching out from the tourist areas and exploring local eateries or street food stalls. Some popular restaurants for Balinese cuisine include Warung Nia and Babi Guling Pak Dobiel, both of which offer flavorful dishes at affordable prices. Don’t be afraid to try something new, and be sure to indulge in the many delicious flavors of Bali.
Explore the Island’s, Natural Beauty
Bali’s natural beauty is a sight to behold, with stunning landscapes and breathtaking vistas around every corner. From the iconic rice terraces of Tegallalang to the verdant wilds of West Bali National Park, the island is a nature lover’s paradise.
Mount Batur is a must-visit for those seeking adventure, with hiking trails that offer unbeatable views of the surrounding countryside, including a stunning sunrise hike. At the summit, visitors can enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the volcanic landscape of Bali.
Sekumpul Waterfall is one of Bali’s most beautiful waterfalls and is highly recommended for its majestic cascade of water proudly hopping from one cliff to another via several crystalline and green pools.
Experience Bali’s Nightlife
Bali isn’t only a destination for nature explorers and spiritual seekers; the island’s nightlife scene is also a popular draw for those looking to have fun after dark. Bali’s nightlife offers something for everyone, from upscale rooftop bars to lively beach clubs to underground music spots.
Potato Head Beach Club is a must-visit for travelers who want luxury at its finest. With its iconic loungers and architecturally stunning structure overlooking the ocean, Potato Head is Bali’s trendiest spot for a daytime swim, sunset drinks, and nighttime sophisticated fun.
Sky Garden Bali, located in Kuta, is the island’s largest nightclub, boasting multiple dance floors and bars, and is popular among college students who flock to it. It plays a variety of music, from hip-hop to house to techno.
One of Bali’s highlights is its famous rooftop bars. Rock Bar Bali, located in Ayana Resort and Spa, sits atop towering lava rocks and offers breathtaking sunset views, while La Favela in Seminyak has charisma fused with an industrially themed décor and offers exceptional cocktails and amazing live acts.
Bali’s nightlife scene offers a vast array of options that cater to different preferences. From sophisticated rooftop bars to underground clubs, there are plenty of places to unwind, dance, and have fun after the sun goes down.